No shadows in today's pictures.... most of the day (apart from a quick run to one of the hospitals) was spent in the local Co-operative store. It's in the parish of Saint Nicholas and they very kindly gave us permission to do a bag packing. If this isn't the custom where you live the system works like this.... During any year a supermarket will permit a certain number of charitable organisations to pack bags for customers and the customers will throw some small change into strategically placed buckets!
By lunch time the total was already over £250 so we guessed that we'd reach our target of £400 and maybe a bit more.
Both the Father and Son in this picture are members of the family who are travelling to Kajiado this summer. They'll work with the church in Kenya doing various jobs. Both parents are medics so their skills and knowledge will be put to good use. Three strong, rugby-playing teenage sons will provide enough muscle to do quite a bit of building work!
We had a good number of helpers so there was time to chat to folk including Paul, a son of the parish, who took the original photograph displayed on the Tee Shirt back. You'll see the set that he took if you click on the Paul Dawson link from this blog page.
We use his photographs on a lot of our advertising literature.
So, why the bag packing?
There's a mobile clinic in Kajiado that could go out almost every day into the area where the Maasai live. It has a staff of four, including the driver, and they provide a full range of medical care and advice. Sometimes they need to transport the most ill to hospitals, often minor surgical procedures are undertaken in the vehicle.
The cost - which includes running the Mobile Clinic, stocking it with medicines and staff wages - is £100 per day. Saint Nicholas' has started a fund "Health for All" to ensure that it can operate every possible day. Our initial target is £25,000 which is why we're busy fund raising.
During the day it was amazing to discover how many folk had been to Kenya and took an interest in our project. We met one lady who had helped map parts of the country for the first Kenyan maps! Others had lived and worked in Nairobi and were happy to talk about that part of the country. Isinya, where our family will be based, is just an hour south of the capital.
As the buckets filled we were keen to discover the final total. By four o'clock we reckoned that we'd reached about £500. Although that was the planned finishing time it seemed a good idea to stay on for another hour.... and it was a very good idea!
When the buckets were collected and counted the total raised during the day was £638.91. Unbelievable! I was truly staggered at the generosity of the shoppers. Never in my wildest imagining did I think we'd get much over five hundred. How encouraging is that total. Well over six hundred pounds sterling!
That means the clinic can go on the road for a week! Think how many people will be helped because of the effort of a few of us giving up some time on a May Saturday.
I'm hoping that the next event raises at least three times as much as that. We've a "Dance for Africa" planned for Friday night (4th June). The dance band is well known locally - The Stramones - and should attract quite a following. If you're in the area we're in the parish halls in Cadogan Park - 8.30 pm for 9.00 pm start. Suggested entrance is £10 and all proceeds will go to the "Health for All" project. Refreshments have been donated and supplied by various friends and contacts.
So that's been today. Photographs taken only in the Co-op..... but there were moments of humour too!
We were next to a stand of cleaning products. Reduce odour. Remove grease. Deal with dirt. And then, this one....
The mind boggles!!
Anyhow... it was a great day... we're very happy with the result and look forward to Friday night's fun. Now, Eurovision.... (maybe).
Beauty for brokenness,
hope for despair,
Lord, in your suff'ring world
this is our prayer.
Bread for the children,
justice, joy, peace,
sunrise to sunset
your kingdom increase.
God of the poor,
friend of the weak,
give us compassion, we pray:
melt our cold hearts,
let tears fall like rain;
come, change our love
from a spark to a flame.
Church Hymnal number 494
by Graham Kendrick